The more information you share online, the easier it’s going to be for someone to get their hands on it. Take a look at your social media profiles and keep them barren—the people who need to know your birth date, email address and phone number already have them.
And what exactly is the point of sharing everything about yourself in your Facebook profile? Think twice about sharing your social security number with anyone, unless it’s your bank, a credit bureau, a company that wants to do a background check on you or some other entity that has to report to the IRS.
That’s because the first three are determined by where you, or your parents, applied for your SSN.
And the second set of two are the group number, which is assigned to all numbers given out at a certain time in your geographic area.
If someone gets their hands on it and has information such your birth date and address they can steal your identity and take out credit cards and pile up other debt in your name.
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Even the last four digits of your social security number should only be used when necessary.Other times information collection companies rely on embedded code in banner ads that track your visits, preferences, and demographic information.If you truly care about your privacy you’ll surf the Internet anonymously by hiding your IP address.Sure, you may trust the people who live in your house, but what if your laptop is stolen or you lose it? Not only should you use a passcode to access them every time you use them, install an app that will locate your phone or tablet if it’s lost or stolen, as well as lock it or wipe it clean of any data so a stranger can’t get access to the treasure trove of data saved on it.And, make sure your computers and mobile devices are loaded with anti-malware apps and software.You can do this using a web proxy, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Tor, a free open network that works by routing your traffic through a series of servers, operated by volunteers around the world, before sending it to your destination.Most people know better than to use the same password for more than one website or application.Don’t want companies knowing how much booze you’re buying or other potentially embarrassing habits?Buy things the old fashioned way—with coins and bills.Some services require it each time you log in, other just when you’re using a new device or web browser.The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great overview of what’s available.